Sunday, December 8, 2013

Running: Getting Started

Galloway, Jeff. Running: Getting Started. Germany: Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2005. Print.

image from:

Running Getting Started
My Thoughts
In June, I texted a friend who'd been running for a year and said, "I'm ready. Teach me to run." I started running with her, and she talked about the "Galloway method." I wasn't sure what this meant, but I did what she told me anyway.

This book explains the Galloway method (which is a run-walk-run method to avoid injury). As explained throughout the book, "I'm [Galloway] proud to be a wimpy runner who runs every day--instead of being forced to be a couch sitter because of never taking a walk break" (Galloway 225). It is a concise, informative and easily understood book geared to exactly what the title states--the beginner who is getting started. The book covers running basics, nutrition, and even how to enter and compete in your first race.

I like that the first chapter explains why people run. My friend who taught me is an artist. I marked the page in Galloway's book where he explains that "a number of because it improves their creative response" (Galloway 16). Running activates the right side of the brain---the "intuitive center of creativity" (Galloway 16). Chapter One also talks about the freedom during a run. There are no demands/distractions so "you can explore the inner parts that are YOU" (Galloway 19). Yep, I have felt that--even when I run with others.

Chapter Four discusses the most important equipment required for running--shoes. I didn't realize that runners wear shoes about two sizes bigger than the street shoe (Galloway 32). It makes sense, especially during those summer runs! I chuckled when Galloway wrote about "fashion injuries" that occurred when the shoe was picked because of the color match and not the comfort. His advice on when to purchase new shoes is helpful, too.

Galloway includes plans and starts the runner off slow but encouraging. It doesn't help to go full blast one day only to be down 3 days to recover from it. I kept thinking about the turtle--slow and steady wins the race (and as Galloway states wins it injury free!).

Something I learned from this book was about fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. I don't think I've ever heard of this before, and I'm not quite sure I understand it well enough to know if I'm a fast or slow twitcher.

In the section about preventing injury, a surprising thing to read is Galloway's position on stretching. He says "don't stretch!" (Galloway 127). He states he's heard from runners that "either become injured because they stretched or aggravated the injury by stretching" (Galloway 127). The exception to this is when you have Ilio-tibial band injury. He also says to take 48 hours between runs. This break gives the muscles time for recovery. Later in the book, Galloway devotes an entire chapter to stretching.

As my regular running partner suffers from shin splints, I marked some pages that Galloway discusses regarding the reasons for and treatment of this pain. I think I will watch her form when running (and may have someone video me running to check my own form).

The book even has a "Trouble shooting" chapter. A funny thing I marked was inside a list of tips about street safety. Galloway writes, "Assume that all drivers are drunk or crazy or both" (Galloway 212). HA!

The book concludes with the "Being a good coach" chapter. Again, I thought of my friend who helped me get started and how I helped another friend come back to running. Running may be a singular sport, but it is more fun when done with others.

I look forward to reading more of Galloway's books as my own running journey continues.

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